[thelist] Choosing a CMS?

george donnelly list at zettai.net
Mon Oct 20 11:02:41 CDT 2003

[Iva Koberg wrote (iva at koberg.com) on 10/18/03 3:28 PM]

Plone is always a good choice. http://plone.org/ There is a big community
around Plone and lots of people developing it. Here are some plone-centric
answers to these questions:

> - Is valid markup important to you? Most CMSs disappoint in this area.
> What about accessibility guidelines compliance?

Plone 2.0, which is in beta right now, has excellent markup by default
including WAI. Plone 1.0 is also good in this area.

> - Are non-cryptic URL's such as yoursite.com/somedirectory/somepage.html
> vs. yoursite.com/123=xyz?blah important to you?

Plone gives you normal urls by default.

> - Should the CMS be friendly to non-technical users? WYSIWYG content
> entry?

Epoz is an add-on app for Plone that will give you this. CMFVisualEditor
works along the same lines.

> - Support for static and dynamic content?

Plone can do this.

> - Should the CMS separate content from presentation? (It looks that way
> from your requirement for different look and feel, etc.)

Plone does this by default with its skins tool.

> - What are server/client requirements of the CMS? Are you willing to
> setup a complex install? Would a hosted CMS be an option?

Setup for plone can be a little complex, esp for a really scalable solution,
for a small solution tho it can be quite easy and there is hosting available
at resonable prices from multiple vendors.

> - Do you need a way to preview changes before publishing (staging)?

Plone has state and actions based workflow options. Ie DCWorkflow and

> - What kind of templating system does the CMS offer? Standards based vs.
> proprietary? Learning curve? Does the templating system pose design
> restrictions? 

Plone uses ZPT by default which is XML valid, will play nice with
Dreamweaver and is open. There is a small learning curve tho. Design
restrictions are small or none in my experience.

> - Is content reuse (if important to you) possible and easy? How flexible
> - does the CMS store pages or content 'chunks'?

Possible but not easy out of the box AFAIK.

> - Is an easy way of importing legacy content important? Does the CMS
> help in that regard?

You can drop content in via FTP or WebDAV.

> - If there is required functionality the CMS does not provide - is it
> possible to extend? What's required?

With Archetypes and a little Python, you can do just about anything with

> - Of course, cost. TCO? How is licensing structured - users vs. cpu,
> annual fees, are upgrades included?

GPL, free. :)

> - To avoid making this a giant list, I am mentioning this last, but it
> is not least important - how easy would it be to divorce from the CMS?

You can get all your content out in a generic basic html or text format via
WebDAV or FTP and a little scripting.


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